March 29, 2020 - Fifth Sunday of Lent
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
To say the last ten days have been weird is an understatement. Since the announcement of the suspension of public Masses on Monday, March 16th, life around here has been weird, strange, awkward at times, confusing, and sad. So much of what we do involves people, and well, they are not around.
The school is eerily empty, the majority of our parish staff is working from home except those deemed essential by the Archdiocese (I always think ALL our staff are essential but I get the need for such a determination), and it is just so strange around here. Even Fenway is wondering where everybody is. He is probably bored just hanging out with Father Federico and me.
The emptiness and quiet in fact causes in me a feeling of being uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong: a little quiet time in life is fine! We can actually all try to see these days as a retreat in the truest sense of the word, namely, a withdrawal to a quiet or secluded place. We can use this time to catch up with friends via the telephone or some sort of social media. We can reach out to family members we haven’t spoken with to check-in on them. We can use this time to do some spiritual reading! Dust off those Bibles, pick up the book we gave at Christmas Rediscover the Saints, or pick up that other book you have been procrastinating from reading.
I would be lying if I didn’t say I am sad and that I have a feeling of a sense of loss. Especially as the announcement was made this week that the Archdiocese has extended the cancellation of ALL Public Masses until April 30th! NO Masses for Palm Sunday, Holy Week, OR EASTER! If you were to tell me when I was ordained that we would one day close our churches for an extended period of time to fight a virus, I would have thought you were nuts. We never missed Mass growing up as a family, and I certainly could never have envisioned such a closure as being remotely possible, never mind necessary. Yet here we are!
Please know that while we cannot gather together in prayer in the church building, you can come by to pray before the Blessed Sacrament. Saint Bridget Church building is, once again, for now open every day from 10AM until 12Noon. Thank you to all those who donated more disinfectant chemicals to enable us to remain open. Yes, these are limited hours but they need to be to ensure proper disinfecting of visited areas. PLEASE NOTE…you are asked to enter and exit through the South Entrance of the Church building and you are asked to remain in that Side Chapel at this time. IF you wish to light a candle before the Blessed Mother Statue PLEASE bring your own lighter! If you come, please be sure to remain socially distant from any other parishioners who may be there praying at the same time.